Songs of Love & Longing is my second collection of fantasy poetry : fantasy-themed poems and songs of love and longing, including my merfolk poems as well as original songs written to accompany the romantic fantasy novella and novels in the Seasons Cycle.
Peopled with characters from Spring Song, Summer Lights, Fall Lanterns and Winter Wain, Songs of Love & Longing expands on the stories in the Seasons Cycle.
The collection contains embedded QR codes that lead you to the songs on my youtube channel, so you can listen to them as you read the lyrics.
Songs of Love & Longing is on the list Best Romantic Fantasy Poetry that will make you Swoon & Sigh on Shepherd, where readers discover the best books!
Check out the reviews below!
Welcome to a magical world where love and longing transcend time, space, and worlds...
Fantasy Romance - Poems of Myth & Magick is a collection of poems and songs that hark back to myths, legends, folklore and fairytales for all ages.
Peopled with fantastical creatures and ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances, it shows how thin the veil really is between the real world and the world of magick.
Allow the beauty and drama, poems and ballads, to transport you to magical otherworlds
Enjoy the enriching and calming experience, the emotions and sensations that lyrical poetry can evoke.
Included in this collection are original songs written to accompany the Lake Traveler Saga.
From high fantasy to cyberpunk...
Romance for every taste!
- a diverse and inclusive anthology of 22 stories by 10 authors
- mostly speculative fiction
- nine of the stories feature LGBTQ+ main characters
- sweet MM, FF and MF romance
- each story is complete (stand-alone)
- each story is short enough to read in-between chores and errands
Hoping to reveal all shades of romance, we have gathered together ten authors from around the world, including Canada, England, Lithuania, and the United States, for this sweet romance anthology, A Season for Romance - Spring Blossoms.
In twenty-two stories, you will find true love in a variety of genres and styles, from first kisses to second chances, on epic journeys and in bittersweet moments.
The characters in our stories are just starting to acknowledge their budding feelings for one another. There is beauty, tenderness, angst, and even humor in these carefully crafted stories meant to transport you to distant, fantastical worlds where love is just moments away.
Balmy Summer Days, Magical Summer Nights
Hoping to reveal all shades of romance, we have gathered together twelve authors from around the world, including Canada, India, Lithuania, and the United States for this sweet romance anthology, A Season for Romance - Summer Simmer.
In this collection of short stories, you will find true love in a variety of genres and styles, from first kisses to second chances, at pivotal junctures and in bittersweet moments.
There is beauty, tenderness, angst, and even some humor and sizzle in these carefully crafted stories meant to transport you to magical worlds where love is just moments away.
From the distant past to contemporary times, and all the way to the future, you will meet a diverse cast of memorable characters and marvel at strange customs and worlds.
Everything is strange or perhaps only strangely familiar, for love is love no matter the era or circumstances.
Come with us on this magical journey through time and place!
- a diverse and inclusive anthology of 22 stories by 12 authors
- 12 stories feature diverse (PoC or LGBTQ+) main characters
- sweet MM, FF, and MF romance
- multiple genres: high fantasy, historical fantasy, urban fantasy, contemporary equestrian romance, espionage romance, futuristic romance and SF romance.
- prose poems from a Pushcart prize nominee
- each story is complete and stands alone
- some feature side characters from the author’s main work, giving a glimpse into complex worlds.
From high fantasy to futuristic romance!
- high fantasy, futuristic, and contemporary
- clean, sweet MM and MF romance
- each story is complete (stand-alone)
- high fantasy stories feature side characters from the Seasons Cycle
Includes the following short stories:
-Love & War
-Can you hear the mermaid singing?
-Breaching the Citadel
-The Folly of Squirrels
In this short story collection, you will find true love in a variety of genres and styles, from first kisses to second chances, and in bittersweet moments.
QR codes within the text link to original songs, including A Mermaid's Tune, Interlude (written for Rosewood), and Some Day (written for Healing Chimes).
Reviews for Fantasy Romance - Poems of Myth & Magick
This beautiful collection of fantasy poetry is sure to kindle the flames of your inner romantic. Put on the soft music, settle into the comfy chair in front of the fireplace and let the verses speak to your heart and soul.
Nov 22, 2022
This is the second set of poems that I had the pleasure of reading. Just like the first, this set is just as amazing. I have made it clear that I am not a lover of poetry, but there is something about Hall’s fabulous writing that makes it amazing. There are so many lovely poems to choose from. Be Mine just touches your soul in a lovely way and Feel The Rain just makes you want to walk outside and take a deep breath of fresh air.
While the other poems, I mentioned, made me feel like I was listening to a Siren’s Song, this set makes me feel like I am watching the Lady in the Lake. There is something so mythical and magical in these poems. It feels like the words are coming from fairies. The lilt of the tone is like a forest song. Poetry has always made me feel stressed since I would try to find the meaning of each poem, but this was so different. I feel relaxed and at ease with each one. These poems are a cathartic meditation for when I am feeling overwhelmed.
My Rating: I rate these poems 5 out of 5 stars. They truly are amazing and magical. This is a must read along with Songs of Love & Longing. You will not be disappointed at all. I believe that Hall has changed my opinion on poetry. If you love myths and love, read these and listen to the music. Take the time for yourself. I woke up the next day feeling at ease and happy. I hope you feel the same way as I did.
Reviewed in the United States on December 6, 2020
This is truly some of the best poetry I've come across. Reminiscent of the old classics like Lord Byron in style, these poems and songs weave stories of love, romance, the beauty of nature, and otherworldly places. I was thrilled to see the way some of the poems brought mention of characters from old myths, like Endymion, Narcissus, and Sheherazade. A perfect book to enjoy with a cup of tea or hot chocolate on a rainy or snowy day. I highly recommend it, especially for daydreamers like me who want to be transported to a fantasy world, and for those who appreciate beauty. I have a few favourites from the collection: "The Angel of Doom" (enticing and arousing), "Rain" (passionate and thrilling), "Where I Belong", and "Lavender Shore".
The only thing I wish is that there were translations in the book of the few songs in French, but at least those who speak French get to appreciate them.
I hope the author someday releases a special edition hardback print decorated with silver and gold. I'd love to add it to my bookcase.
Reviewed in the United States on April 10, 2021
What a beautiful collection. This collection is written well and has such emotion and soul with each word. I haven't read many poem books, only a handful, really. Now I see myself search this site for another enjoyable read.
Reviewed in the United States on February 8, 2021
This is a lovely collection of fantasy poetry. I have enjoyed the chance to relax and indulge my love of poetry and my love of my favorite genre together. Her use of imagery and language is compelling and inspiring.
Reviewed in the United States on December 8, 2020
In this magical collection of poetry, it is clear Ms. Cassia Hall has a strong talent for language and mythology. Her lyrical voice sweeps you into another era, full of romance, magic, and myth. Resonant of Shakespeare and Greek Mythology, you feel as if you are dancing in the glades right alongside the faeries, fauns, and centaurs. But Ms. Hall does not stop there. She invites you to discover the timeless beauty of Gaelic poems, and then she shines ever-more brightly when she concludes with songs and poetry derived from and inspired by her Lake Traveler Series. There is not enough literature out there like this! I look forward to reading her series!
Reviewed in the United States on February 16, 2021
I don't read a lot of poetry. I probably should pick up more as stress relaxers. That's exactly what I got with this collection. It was magical in every sense. Thank you Cassia Hall for putting together this amazing and fantastical book. It was just what the Dr. ordered.
Reviewed in the United States on March 18, 2021
I love the romantic poems. Really paints a beautiful picture that touches my heart.
Reviewed in the United States on January 27, 2021
I'm not a big fan of poems and it's not my usual read, but this collection of poems was beautiful. There is passion, romance, and mythology. It was a fun, easy read.
I have just finished all pieces (poems and songs). I really love them ALL. They are so special. I love the way you describe the story and then the poem (each of them) gives fruitful complement. "Rain" has so much passion and movement, it has real action, I could imagine the scenery like in the theatre...I sense Shakespeare maybe, mysterious atmosphere...In "The Runaway" the first part sounds like a magic incantation. I love that the action is slow, then moves faster, I can sense wonderful flow and continuation. And the last "Of Myth & Magick" gives hope and encouragement...I believe in the truth hidden there. The expression is so real that I could feel and enter the given message. Gently and vividly take us to a magical, mysterious world. Words sound like keys on the piano creating perfect songs. For some reason, my favorite poem is "Lavender Shore” and definitely the first one "The Angel of Doom", perfectly written! I feel so amazed by the beauty and abundance of your words alive.
- Monika Hankus, author of The Road of the Heart, Into the Mystery of Feminine Realm
These poems made me gasp in shock, giggle in delight, and even sigh with longing. This book has a heavily rich atmospheric setting from the delightfully chilling air of “The Witching Hour” to the much more sensual “A Night with Her Love Awake”. Every poem has personality. It mixes the mundane with the mystical, like in “The Tavern” with every tantalizing line pulling me further and further into the world of each poem. It’s also very character-driven with poems such as “Ballad of the Silver Sword”, the introspective “Beneath a Huntress Moon” which is about a life-changing experience, or the very cheeky yet defiant “The Angry Pony” - these poems are scented with personality-driven character voices. With beautiful descriptions, Gaelic language, and a focus on the fantastical, “Fantasy Romance – Of Myth & Magic” is a must-read for fans of High Fantasy and Romance lovers alike.
- Alora Pendrak, Pendragon Publications
Petr Simeon Gajdos
5.0 out of 5 stars It is like reading songs, melodies wrapped within poetic language.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 19, 2021
“Fantasy Romance: Poems of Myth & Magick" by Cassia Hall is a beautiful collection of fantasy poems. Fantasy is, perhaps, the genre most associated with the untamed imagination. The author is a dreamer who is able to weave dreams for other dreamers to enjoy, be it characters, plot lines, magical spells, the way battles are fought and won. I like the way the author shares her rich inner and poetic mythical world with us her readers. The poems are filled with complex emotions and stories with magical and mythical otherworldly adventures. As readers, beautiful emotionally-imbued poetic language can touch our hearts and inner world of imagination. The author’s mastery of language, with her metrics, rhythm and carefully chosen vocabulary is such that you feel transported directly into a den of dragons, on a fairy hill or a king’s castle. It is like reading songs, melodies wrapped within poetic language. If you are a lover of fantasy, magic and legends you will be captivated by this poetry collection. I look forward to reading more from this author.
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing collection!
Reviewed in India on January 22, 2021
After a long time I have read genuine poetry. Words flow sublimely in each verse and create vivid imagery that sings fantasy. I especially loved the poems that were based off paintings and music. The experience was unique, titillating the eyes and ears, as much as whatever exists within us that appreciates rhymes. Would certainly recommend giving it a read, and I will surely check out the author's other works as well!
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich language that transports you
Reviewed in Germany on March 21, 2021
This is truly a "mythical and magickal" collection of poetry. I especially enjoyed the rich and sensuous language that transports the reader into a different world, evoking imagery, light, sound and touch alike. We also get a sense of Cassia Hall's range when she moves from light-dappled scenes to the dark moors of the Scottish "Moonlicht Night" (with translations of the Scottish words into English kindly added). A collection to savour and return to in different moods and at different times of the year.
Reviews for Songs of Love & Longing
First of all I want to talk about the introduction because it was so sweet and heartwarming to me.
The language is so beautiful and inspiring. This is a very well written poem collection.
The first poems: Merfolk Poems literally broke my heart and it was so incredible. The poems were amazing and I love the 2-povs.
I love that the poems rhyme. I love that it has poetry about fairies, mermaids etc. I love that it is so lyrical.
It really makes you feel like you're in a fantasy world, under water, to a ball etc.
I love that almost every poem is a short story.
This was a really good book!!
Cover art is beautiful. Title is intriuguing. Poems were indeed filled with love, longing and a beautiful fantasy tale. The writer did a wonderful job in terms of getting this book together. It Clearly gave a wonderful view of just how much the writer enjoy what she'd written.
The author has created a beautiful collection of poems. Most of these poems have a rhyming flow, which is why I loved this book. I think the QR codes were a bonus. I enjoyed hearing the written lyrics in musical songs. I would highly recommend this fantastic book of poetry.
I love fantasy, I love poetry, and I love music. It was magical to find this book which combines all three! Using QR codes was a different experience, but I am glad I did. I highly recommend you do too. Most of these poems follow a rhyme scheme, but that's not surprising since they are also meant to be songs. Every poem has a beautiful rhythm. Everything in this work flows smoothly. I recommend lovers of the fantasy genre read this, even if poetry is not generally their thing.
Songs of Love and Longing by Cassia Hall is a lovely compilation of fantasy poems.
You will enjoy this collection if you dream of mermaids and mermen, faeries, foxes, kings, and queens. The poems can't help but put you in a dreamlike state where everything is bubbly and breezy. I also loved the attached videos to motivate me for the poems.
I really enjoyed discovering the fantasy world in these poems. The author's imagery is creative and inviting, and I enjoyed exploring it. The words didn't take me as deep into feelings as I'd hoped for. I applaud the author for experimenting with inserting QR codes and links to music into the text, but for me, a book of poetry is a promise of a retreat from the world, screen, and technology, and I found these links and codes a bit distracting. I recommend this book to anyone who loves the world of fantasy and is looking for a new adventure.
This book is the most beautiful lyrical poetry I have ever read. The characters for her other books are in the book and it's beautiful. She has QR links for the music. She also has links for her YouTube channel that goes to the poetry. This is the first time I had heard of fantasy poetry. It's quite beautiful and hope to read more from this author. This is a recommended read and I am so sure everyone will love it!!
Nov 22, 2022
Poetry is such a difficult medium to write. It is extremely hit or miss. I found this to be an amazing group of poems. There was something so incredible to sit down and read something that is not a novel. This author is incredibly talented. Hall writes fantasy novels, but also a set of some of the best poems I have read. I am not a poetry reader as well.
I see these poems as lyrical. I feel as if I am listening to a Siren’s song. I am in awe of how the author was able to create a connection between characters as well as a connection with the reader. They just bring a large smile to your face. Plus, this novel does give you a chance to listen to the music that matches with the poem. I think that is so unique and really added to the ambiance of the whole group of poems put together.
My Rating: Oh, I loved this Siren’s song. The poem is 5 out of 5 stars. I felt as if I rode the most calming wave and Hall truly did amazing from start to finish. I am so excited to read more! Now I am not a poetry lover, I may become one after reading these poems. I just go back to thinking about the poem that I love, and I must admit that I have read these on more than one occasion, especially when I need a calming spirit. Go and read these, especially at bedtime!
October 8, 2022
I found this gem as wanted to read something poetry or lyrically related as was in the mood! And I came across this lovely collection of songs/poetry!
This is such a unique factor to embed actual songs and QR codes within the text in order to set the scene and bring these poems to life more. And that is what they did! I loved seeing what piece of music came next and if they complimented the writings in the book at the same time.
These are poems based off of high fantasy characters - which is great, but it’s very dense and the backstories require some getting used to or for the reader to know about the rules of high fantasy too.
Many thanks for letting me read and review this book! This was a nice gem!
September 23, 2022
A pretty collection! I loved all the fantasy worlds and fantastical characters that these poems created. They felt very classical, about fairies, forest animals, mermaids… They didn’t quite have the emotional or storytelling range that I’m usually looking for, and were more focused on the beauty of a situation or the feeling of love—so if you’re looking for that emotion then this is a goldmine.
Although I haven’t read anything else by Cassia Hall, I also thought it was a lovely idea that some of the poems are connected to her books and come accompanied with QR codes/links to her music. I’m sure that’s a wonderful surprise for the people who read her other books.
September 13, 2022
Poems from the sea. A great beach read. Each one of these poems reads like a short story and would sound lovely if sung. The prose reads like lyrics to beautiful melodies. I loved especially the poem, "Hush She Sleep" a lovely lullaby.
July 30, 2022
This collection delivers all the love and longing promised by the title and so much more. These narrative poems weave tales richly painted with images of nature, animals, magic, and lovers. I loved the descriptions and stories of powerful, creative female characters. These lyrics/poems have a soft, enchanting feel. I especially enjoyed the music that enriches the experience of deep love, story, and beauty. Readers of Hall’s fantasy Seasons Cycle series may appreciate these poems differently, but any lover of rhyme, fantasy, and romance will enjoy it. Gorgeous!
March 16, 2022
I wish there had been more queer romances in this collection, but I loved the fantasy elements and imagery in these poems. "Whither she goest I will go" is a pretty direct echo of Ballad of the Absent Mare, but feels like a re-envisioning, since the original line is literally about a horse and here it is about an entirely different kind of commitment. "Down by the lake, at rosy dawn break" felt similar as a callback to Homer that felt lovely and again, it was in a lovely and creative way.
January 20, 2022
This was an ARC. And is a very interesting book by the fact that is poetry about all those things we found in fantasy novels and tales. The poems had this rhythm and all the word are specially selected to part of it
Reviewed in the United States on December 29, 2021
Songs of Love and Longing is a collection of poems and songs, inspired by the author's previous books and characters. The coolest thing about this collection, however, are the QR codes that allow you to listen along with the readings. I've NEVER seen that before, and truly think it's incredibly innovative. Even if poetry isn't your cup of tea, this is still a cool concept and something I wish more writers did!
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Bobbi Jo Wagner
Reviewed in the United States on December 22, 2021
This is a wonderful collection of songs and poems written by a great author. This is a newer author for me which I enjoyed and look forward to reading more from her in the future. I enjoyed the meaning behind each poem and song that I read. They are engaging and I read this book in one sitting. The characters are creative and unique which made this book easy and fun to read. You will find something for everyone in this collection and I highly recommend it.
Reviewed in the United States on December 15, 2021
I can state openly that I am not generally a reader of poetry but made an exception with this book based on a suggestion. I do love music and lyrics and these poems are extremely lyrical in content and in fact the author writes music to accompany many of these poems. Find a quiet spot and let her words wash over you as she transports you to different worlds.
Reviewed in the United States on December 16, 2021
These poems were so engaging. Short, easy to read and really captured my attention and interest. Taking me away to another world of fantasy. Nice way to de-stress. I thoroughly enjoyed them.
What I Think: First, let me get this out – Talent kil dis woman (she’s stuffed with talent). This review is a couple of days late because I couldn’t find the words to describe the feeling until today. Let me try. These feel like adult lullabies and made me realise just how much self-soothing we forget as we grow. In an insane world unlike any we have ever experienced, self-soothing is so vital it cannot be dismissed. This is an amazing start to remembering what soothes and eases all those knots ...more
Review of Songs of Love and Longing
After reading this lyrical treasure. I can say I'm deeply happy to share my thoughts on Song of Love and Longing. From reluctantly pinning merfolk, to vibrant faeries this collection breaths new life into the mythic and fantastical with its achingly beautiful descriptions. Each poem conjures up the visual image of such enchanting delights. Some of my personal favorites are the Forsaken Mermaid due to its hauntingly tragic prose, Pursuit due to how the poem pla ...more
I am not necessarily the person to seek out poetry, but if this collection is any indication of what I'm missing, I really should be. I thoroughly enjoyed each poem and the flow of the different sections. The QR codes linking digital content were an awesome touch too.
I love both the tie ins to her novella series and those that stand alone. I think Magikal Hour may be my favorite, but it's tough to choose. Cassia Hall definitely has a beautiful, effortless quality to her writing that translates ...more
If you love romance, and lyrical, rhyming poetry, this book is a must-read for you.
What's more, if you scan the embedded QR codes, you get to listen to the music this multi-talented author-musician composed for her poems.
Heck, even if you're not into the poetry, the music alone will probably have you spellbound! ...more
Feb 20, 2022 Narayani rated it it was amazing. My rating: 4.5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫
Book is love...
I read one poetry everyday to feel the essence and presence of words in my world.
Each and every poetry has its own beauty.
Poetic element are used beautifully.
Vocabulary is so fine.
Easy read and deep meanings.
Idk if it's only me but I could find 3-5 meanings of each poetry and relate well.
Writing style is super beautiful.
Book layout is fine everything is perfect... ...more
This book is the most beautiful lyrical poetry I have ever read. The characters for her other books are in the book and it's beautiful. She has Q R links for the music. She also has links for her YouTube channel that goes to the poe try. This is the first time I had good heard of fantasy poetry. It's quite beautiful and hope to read more from this author. This is a recommended read and I am so sure everyone will love it!!
When I took the Songs of Love & Longing in my hands for beta-reading, I already had some expectations for it, as I had read other poems of Cassia Hall and heard her songs. However, I was struck by the magical atmosphere this collection provided. The author used QR codes and combined the best she had...
Following the poems while sweet tenor sang it to me... I had completely swooned. As I have read the ARC of the new novella "Summer Lights" and knew the events which had inspired the author to writ ...more
WOW! WOW! WOW!
I have NO MORE WORDS TO SAY!
I literally loved it!
Reviews for the anthology, A Season for Romance - Summer Simmer
A wonderful collection of short romances! From almost kisses to romantic revelations and taking the next step toward love. I enjoyed all the stories and added so many more books and authors to my to-be-read pile!
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
This is a collection of cute, sweet and swooning romantic stories. We see stories from people falling in love, admitting to their crushes, seeing new loves bloom after hard times and characters that take matters in their own hands and shoot their shot at love spanning through different times and genres. I absolutely loved reading this, getting a glimpse of the different worlds and characters.
It's a fun and loving summer read that makes you curious to the rest of the stories! Which I surely will check out too.
I like how the stories are organized into different sections. The fantasy section is the biggest one and has some really good stories. Some are funny and fun to read, some serious, some beautiful. The art help me connect more with the characters. It would be nice to have more SF. I would recommend this to readers who enjoy fantasy with strong female characters and romance that's sweet and moving.
I’ve been waiting impatiently for the release of the Summer Anthology after having been captivated by last year’s Spring Anthology.
Summer Simmer does not disappoint!
I am particularly touched by Cassia Hall’s story Dragonfly. Apart from the captivating love story that moves me, I feel a kind of subtle enlightenment dawning on me as I read on. How true it is that one should be prepared to let things go in order to move on, to come out stronger every time.
Last year’s First Dance and Red String characters are back in new stories!
R. L. Fuentes’s Feel Again! How wonderful and how right it should be that one should never be denied the chance of feeling again. I was also happily surprised to see the character art in her stories which made me feel closer to the characters.
The inclusion of different genres and styles of different authors in this Anthology help open up new possibilities for me to accept and pick up reading more on genres that I have never or rarely come across before. Despite the difference in genres and styles, one thing is constant, and that is love. Be it intense or bittersweet, love, as portrayed in all the stories brings warmth and hope to both the heart and soul.
This was a really sweet collection of short romance stories. I enjoyed the variety of sub-genres and getting a little peek into so many different writers' styles.
The lighthearted Karl and Smithy was really fun and I also enjoyed What's True using horses to bring the characters back together.
The addition of character art was a nice touch too, something you don't see often enough in books. Overall a nice group of stories perfect to sneak in whenever you have a spare moment.
Summer Simmer is a collection of different romance novels ranging from fantasy to historical to contemporary romance so everyone can find stories they like. It's a perfect summer read and maybe one or the other will discover new genres for themselves.
Reviews for the anthology, A Season for Romance - Spring Blossoms
From the United States
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 5, 2022
I loved this collection of (super) short stories! There is something for everyone. And the authors did a fantastic job of getting the reader to connect with the character(s), something that is not easy to do, let alone with so few words!
What a great way to be introduced to new authors ❤
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 6, 2022
These short stories offer a sneak preview at the blossoming beginning of romance.
“I wanted the prince, but I did not want him bound to me solely by the magic of the potion.”
Can an angel love a demon? Is a cyborg capable of loving?
It’s quite an eclectic collection. They’re not traditional romances. They’re mostly fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal. Most of these are prequels to full-length stories by the authors.
Spring is the beginning of romance, and these stories present the readers with just that. Stories are pretty mild with little to no steam. It’s almost like these romances begin from friendships. These are outlandish and bizarre tales. They’re not for someone looking for traditional romance. I found some to be a little too odd and confusing.
Overall, these are nice, quick reads. It’s a good way for readers to dive into something different and discover new authors.
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 5, 2022
What a wonderful group of short stories. They leave me wanting more!
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 23, 2022
I was lucky enough to receive this book from the author.
As someone who truly loves romance, this will fill all of those boxes and so much more. I have to say that this is one of the first romance anthologies that have others in different writing areas. Cassia Hall was the author that gave me the book and it was fun to read authors that I know and authors I didn’t. This is one of many books that I have read by Hall and I have read books by Isla Ryder. This was just another set from authors I already enjoy, but I found a new one in Naito Diamond.
I wouldn’t call these stories so much as glimpses into the worlds and characters of these authors. This is very much not a negative thing, but it does leave some of the tales feeling a bit unfinished at times. This is frustrating to me because I wanted more.
Stories like “Seduction” contained a very quirky romantic pair which I found quite endearing as a reader.
“ Love in the Round Pen” shocked me with how much I liked it, since I'm not a big horse fan but the zealous passion of the writer for the subject matter pulled me in and held my reigns.
“ Do you hear the mermaid Singing” was a nice return to the world of the Lake Travelers series, A place I've visited many times before So it was rather like seeing an old friend again.
“Invitation” Had my favorite couple dynamic of the collection both characters just had some much energy and really seemed to complete each other.
Honestly, I could go on and on there are a lot of great pieces here, by very talented writers.
All the stories are focused on the beginning of a budding relationship. There’s a fair variety of both straight and gay relationships. This collection also contains everything from love potions to magical soulmates bound by the threads of fate to Catgirls.
Also, the ladies and men in this collection are bold and talented but not without insecurities or doubts, hopes, and fears there are a lot of vulnerabilities. There’s also a variety some of the pov characters jump right in while others are far more hesitant to make the first move let alone the plunge.
I’d recommend this book for the lover and fighter in us all and welcome anyone to give this book a try.
H. L. Payne
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 8, 2022
I really enjoyed this book, which I would, for the most part, call a 'sampler' book of short stories that are tied in to the writers' main stories in some way (there are some standalone stories as well). That's not to say you need prior knowledge to enjoy them; these are all shorts you can read with no real knowledge of the larger story or universe outside them, and if anything intrigues you, you'll likely be able to enjoy more in that universe, which is a nice bonus.
I found the stories to have a nice variety from sci-fi to fantasy, and that the stories, though not overly long, were satisfying and well-constructed. There were a couple of minor tense issues here and there, nothing too offensive, and I do love my grammar, so I can say that I was almost never tossed out of a story by a bad grammar experience.
I would recommend this to any of my reader friends who wanted little bonbon-esque stories they could devour whenever they had a couple of spare minutes to read.
Heather Mary Hudson
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 2, 2022
This collection is sweet! The stories all focus on the first blush of love and they are all unique but all tied with the universal feeling of first romantic connection. I enjoyed it very much and will definitely check out other works by these talented authors.
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on May 31, 2022
I loved Buttons. This little story kept me in anticipation wanting to read more.
I usually stick to a few authors and more or less the same genre when reading and this is the first time I picked up an anthology which turns out to have more in store for my fixed mindset.
This anthology introduced me to more good authors out there as well as a variety of genres. It sure is exciting when I was plunged into a mediaeval setting and that of a cyber world from one story to the next.
I particularly like all of the stories by Cassia Hall. Her flair and mastery of the language enables the reader to visualise the backdrop, the intensity of the shy and budding love between the characters. The occasional tinge of humour also lightens the intensity of the feelings and makes her stories so enjoyable.
Seduction by Naito Diamond also touches me. The author was able to gradually let my fences down on how I felt for a demon. Such a beautiful reminder that love involves sacrifices and that we may at times need to look deep to understand why a person has to turn into a demon.
Beautifully written Desert Bloom by R. L. Fuentes reminds me that in despair, it’s fine to rely on love, for with love you can even “dare to bloom,knowing the sun will burn hot, and dry season will come”.
Every author in this anthology brings out the best of love in their stories, certainly a fresh and important reminder of hope for in springtime things come to life again and everything blooms with love.
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 8, 2022
I enjoyed all the different varieties of romance short stories. Fantasy and sci-fi, futuristic, country, LGBT, royalty, angels. Stories about crushes and new love and second chances. A lot of the short stories are side stories about characters from bigger stories or series meaning you can look for those to read if you enjoy the short story! Some of my favorites were Red String, Springtime in Houston We Have A Problem, First Dance, Breaching The Citadel, Ambassador, A Confession, Feathers, and An Elf's Love.